After Minnesota and Wisconsin announced they were leaving the WCHA for the Big Ten hockey conference, rumors started about a realignment of western college hockey.

Four recent stories tied up those rumors with comments from key officials.

First is Brad Schlossman's story in the Grand Forks Herald on the role of North Dakota ...

Second is a story by Kevin Pates in the Duluth News Tribune on the future status of defending NCAA champion UMD.

Third is a story by Chad Purcell of the Omaha World Herald on Nebraska Omaha's position.

 Fourth is a story by Joe Paisley of the Colorado Spring Gazette urging caution on what has become a hot web topic.

When the Big Ten Conference announced it was going to form its own hockey league last March, rumblings started about what the aftershocks might be.

The BTC will start play in 2013-14, with the Gophers and Wisconsin leaving the WCHA and Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State leaving the CCHA to join newcomer Penn State in a six-team league.

At the time, WCHA commission Bruce McLeod said his 10-team league would be fine if everybody stuck together. He is probably looking for some super glue right about now.

North Dakota, UMD and Nebraska Omaha are all hinting they are looking for what is best for them. Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio) of the CCHA also could be looking for a stronger league to be part of when the Big Ten Conference starts up.

Those five schools, plus maybe Denver and Colorado College of the WCHA, and maybe Western Michigan of the CCHA, are the teams most often mentioned for a new "super conference". 

This could be a summer of big changes in college hockey if it happens.